Love, Self

How Your Fierce Sense Of Independence Actually Makes You A Better Partner

Two of the things that scare people away from marriage are worries about no longer being independent and fear that you'll suffer from of a loss of identity.

After all, when you get married, you become one with your partner. Your needs are taken care of by your spouse, while you take care of theirs, too. However, it's a common problem to throw yourself into your marriage and lose yourself and your ability to be independent in the process. 

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But is it really true that you can't be autonomous in a loving and successful marriage?

In this YourTango Experts video, Senior VP of YourTango Experts Melanie Gorman asked a team of love and relationship experts for advice on how to handle identity and independence in your marriage.

Life coach Noreen Ehrlich, international relationship expert  John Gray (of Mars and Venus fame!), and dating coach Katherin Scott all agree that a strong sense of identity is actually the key to a successful marriage.

Here's why maintaining your independence is important:

There's a saying, "How can I miss you, if you're never gone?" This is 100 percent true in marriage, too. 

If you spend every moment together and have the same friends, hobbies, and interests, there will be nothing left to talk about!

Not only is it important, but it's actual crucial to the survival of your relationship to have your own independence.

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Your heart is like your body: If your body is deficient in, say, vitamin C, you notice it and your body will begin to feel the effects. Once you fill your body back up with it, you may start to notice another vitamin lacking.

The same is true when it comes to love. You might be very close to your spouse in the beginning, and then you start to feel annoyed with your relationship. Well, that's because you've filled up on intimacy, for example, and now you need some independence.

There is such a thing as too much independence, however.


You and your partner are like yin and yang.

Each of you has your own identity, your own set of strength, interests and weaknesses. When you meld them together in the confines of a relationship, they fit together to make a perfect harmonious circle.

But if you become too independent and spend too much time outside of your relationship, the walls of the circle will be stretched and pushed until the circle — and your relationship — will be broken, with no hope of fixing it.

So, what can you do about it?

Have a girl's night out (or guy's night) or go see a movie by yourself. Maybe take up a hobby on your own, something you've always wanted to try or get back into.

Make sure to have your own friends, hobbies, and interests, so you each can have that alone time and sense of independent identity you need to make your marriage work

Your partner should never be your main meal. Instead, you should think of your partner as a dessert that you cherish and love.

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If you need help finding or maintaining your identity or any other relationship problems, please visit the websites of our Experts and contact NoreenJohn, and Katherin directly. They’re here to help.